A new report on childcare in London says that new parents should get discounts on their travel costs.
Dame Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Leader of Lambeth council, Lib Peck, and Leader of Southwark council, Peter John, were in Brixton today for the launch of the Lambeth and Southwark Childcare Commission report at the Loughborough Children’s Centre.
Dame Jowell said the Mayor of London, central government, local authorities and employers all have a part to play in tackling the childcare crisis facing new parents in London.
The report said many parents, particularly mothers, find the costs of childcare makes finding employment too difficult.
Less than 60 per cent of mothers in London are in employment, compared to nearly 70 per cent in the UK as a whole.
Cllr Lib Peck, said: “There is no shying away from the fact that there is a real crisis in the provision of childcare in London.”
The Childcare Commission was set up by the councils, and supported by the IPPR thinktank, to look at the affordability, accessibility and quality of childcare on offer for new parents.
The report says Transport for London should offer discounted travel for new parents.
The commission points out that the cost of flexible travel in London can be extremely expensive, as part-time workers can’t take advantage of discounted season tickets.
The report also want both councils to provide a childcare matchmaking service: pairing qualified childminders with parents who are looking for childcare on a more flexible basis, as well as councils providing incentives for local employers to set up workplace nurseries.
Cllr Peck said: “It’s a headache for so many new parents; trying to find good quality childcare that is flexible enough for them to go back to work and doesn’t break the bank. The fact that for many new mothers, it is actually costing them to go to work, is frankly unacceptable.”